The process of quitting smoking: say goodbye to tobacco

Tobacco addiction is the addiction to tobacco caused, mainly, by one of its active components, nicotine, which produces physical and psychological dependence, as well as many other diseases. In fact, the harmful effects of tobacco are multiple and very harmful, so it is convenient to understand the process of dependence to establish strategies to stop smoking.

The process of stopping furnar

Tobacco use is the leading isolated cause of premature morbidity and mortality preventable in developed countries. The relationship between tobacco consumption and the main chronic diseases (cardiovascular diseases, cancer and chronic lung diseases, among others) is amply demonstrated.


There is also evidence on reducing the risk of death from these diseases after the cessation of smoking. And the good news is that the risk of death of ex-smokers is lower than that of current smokers, and almost equals the risk of non-smokers after about 10-15 years of abandonment.

Involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke - passive smoking - is also causing a serious public health problem. This exposure poses a considerable risk to the non-smoking population.

Motivation to stop smoking

A third of adults who smoke make several attempts until they get it. More than 90% of these attempts are carried out without a formal treatment and of these smokers who quit smoking without treatment, only between 3% and 5% remain abstinent per year.


The main reason why a smoker will consider quitting is for reasons related to their health, although there may be other motivations, such as economic, social pressure (in some countries), pregnancy, etc. Quitting smoking is more complicated than we thought a few years ago and the process of smoking cessation involves a change in behavior with respect to it.

6 phases to stop smoking definitely

Currently, it is considered that there are six stages in the change: pre-tiering, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and relapses. It is interesting to know in what situation we are in order to establish the best strategy:

Pre-contemplation phase. The smoker does not intend to quit in the next six months. At this stage he values ​​the supposed advantages of smoking more than the risks involved in continuing to do so, sometimes due to the lack of information, beyond the topics, about the harmful effects of tobacco. The first step is to inform yourself if possible by
A professional.


Contemplation phase. Half of smokers are in this phase. They are people who consider quitting smoking in the next six months and have generally made several attempts to quit without getting it, so they feel very frustrated. They know the risks of smoking, but they do not decide definitively to quit.

Preparation phase. The smoker plans to quit smoking in the next month and is strongly determined to do so. In the personal balance of this smoker the possible losses in relation to health or others exceed the supposed benefits of tobacco.

Phase of action. The smoker quits smoking, stops buying tobacco and does not smoke. It is advisable to set realistic goals based on overcoming the anxiety generated by the fact of quitting smoking through physical exercise, distractions and relaxation techniques. As well as having the support of family and friends so that they do not smoke in their presence

Maintenance phase. To strengthen your decision to stop smoking and maintain it, you can count on the support of smoking therapy groups in accredited centers.

Relapse phase. Many times the combination of psychological therapies with supportive drugs is necessary.

Dr. Román Rodríguez Barrigüete. Physician of the work of the Medical Services of FCC.

Video: Smoking Causes Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema


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